Lobster Mousse with a Creamy Mint Sauce

Preparation info

  • Serves

    6

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

A Feast of Fish

A Feast of Fish

By Ian McAndrew

Published 1989

  • About

As this is an amazingly expensive dish, this recipe is meant only as a first or fish course. Lobster really does make a perfect and delicate mousse that cannot be compared with any other. Make sure you save the shells of the lobsters to use in another recipe, and try choosing lobsters that are carrying eggs as they can be used to garnish and finish the sauce.

Ingredients

  • 3 X 450 g/1 lb live female lobsters
  • 2.25 litres/4 pints court bouillon
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 50 ml/2 fl oz dry sherry
  • 600 ml/1 pint double cream
  • 6-8 large spinach leaves
  • 2 stalks fresh mint (about 10 g/¼oz)
  • 85 ml/3 fl oz dry white wine
  • 350 ml/12 fl oz fish stock
  • 115 g/4 oz unsalted butter

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.

    Bring the court bouillon to the boil. Rinse the lobsters in cold water. Take one lobster, remove any eggs it may be carrying and keep to one side, then plunge the lobster into the boiling water. Cook for 8 minutes and allow to cool in the stock. When cold, shell the tail and cut the meat into 6 nice medallions. Shell the arms and claws and cut the meat into small dice.

    Kill the remaining lobsters (either with a trussing needle plunged between the eyes or, with the lobster facing you, place the point of a large knife above its head, about 2.5 cm/1 inch away from the eyes, and with a swift movement bring the knife down through the shell and between the eyes). Remove any eggs and save with the others. Pull off the claws and arms and detach the tails. Using a pair of scissors or a large knife, cut the tails lengthwise and remove all the meat, making sure you discard the tract. Crack the claws and remove all the meat and add it to the tail meat – the best way to remove the meat is to use a teaspoon and scrape it out. Finish off splitting open the head, remove the gritty sac from behind the eyes and discard. Any coral should be added to the lobster meat. Save the shells to use in another recipe.

    Put the meat into a food processor or blender along with the egg white and the salt and process until smooth. Rub the resulting mixture through a sieve into a bowl set on crushed ice. Add the sherry and work into the mousse, then gradually add 225 ml/8 fl oz of the cream, mixing it into the mousse gently. Stir the diced claw meat into the mousse, then test. Leave it to stand in the refrigerator until needed.

    To assemble the moulds, remove the stalks from the spinach leaves, wash the leaves well, then blanch in boiling salted water for a couple of seconds. Refresh in iced water, drain and dry the leaves by spreading them on a cloth. Butter the moulds – these should be 120 ml/4 fl oz oval moulds. Line these with the spinach, leaving a sufficient overhang all the way round to fold over the top and completely enclose the mousse. Fill the moulds with the lobster mousse, pressing it in well with a spoon to exclude any air. Cover each mould with a piece of buttered foil. Place the moulds in a bain-marie so that the water comes halfway up them and heat the water until it reaches boiling point. Transfer to the oven and cook for 16-18 minutes.

    For the sauce, crush the lobster eggs, and roughly chop the mint. Bring the white wine and the fish stock to the boil in a saucepan and reduce by three-quarters. Add the cream, the crushed eggs and the mint, bring back to the boil and reduce again until it starts to thicken. The sauce will take on a pinky-orange colour from the eggs. Strain through muslin or a fine sieve into another pan. Return to the boil, then turn down the heat to very low and gradually whisk in the butter until it has all melted.